Frame Problem is about helping small-businesses and non-profits be better with information technology. More than merely coding software (I do that too), I train leaders at all levels to make best use of the tools available – from social media to data-warehousing. I work exclusively with small-businesses, charities and not-for-profits and this focus gives me insight into how best to approach IT projects within the constraints under which these organizations operate.

What’s with the name?

Problem-solving is at the heart of any technology decision, and central to solving any problem is formulating the problem itself. The challenge of correctly identifying the nature of the problem to solve is often the most crucial, and least thought-through, aspect of any organization. The term “frame problem” comes from cognitive science and is used to describe the challenge of programming a computer to decide what information is central to any action and what is peripheral, ie, what is the “picture” and what is the “frame.” Foregrounding understanding the nature of the problem is central to apt technology decisions and is a precept of how I work with clients.

Why should I hire you?

The short answer is simply because I am affordable, adaptable, knowledgable and pragmatic.

The long answer requires some explanation:

The whole of the information technology operates under a vendor-oriented model, companies produce tools and customers attempt to select the best tool for the job. Even most service providers are simply an intermediary between a handful of prefigured software tools and the customer. When all you have are hammers, everything begins to look like a nail.

Enter consultants. They are supposed to defray the complexity of addressing IT challenges but most are either still tied to vendors (e.g. “certified partners”), reproducing the problem at a different place, or are accessible only to very large enterprises and are priced out of the reach of non-profits and small-business.

Most are left holding the bag of making wide-ranging strategic IT decisions usually at the whim of social media fashion comingled with insights from whatever book on business technology happened to be at hand. Alternatively, a key executive gets enraptured with some utopian IT widget and quickly aligns the whole organization (and its very limited resources) behind it.

Beyond the basics within their business competency, organizations quickly get out of their depth and make poor decisions. These poor decisions often end up as over-extended boondoggles which create frustration across the whole organization and a cynicism regarding innovation; the shiny new widget begins gathering dust and people go back to doing everything in spreadsheets and email. Conversely, no innovation occurs at all, the business is operating with the same tools as 2005 (likely, spreadsheets and email) and it’s the plucky young employees that keep insisting on the adoption of one IT product after another that seem to have the problem.

If this story sounds familiar or dangerously close to your immediate future – send me an email, I can help.